Post Info TOPIC: Konya
Museum Orientalis


The main reason to come to Konya is visible from some distance, its fluted dome of turquoise tiles one of Turkey's most distinctive sights. 

The Mevlanashrine - The former lodge of the whirling dervishes with the Mevlâna Tomb is made a museum by Ataturk, but after walking through a pretty courtyard with an ablutions fountain and several tombs, you have to remove your shoes to pass into the sanctuary.

As you enter the big bronze Nisan tası (April bowl) is on the left. April rainwater was collected in this bowl before the tip of Mevlâna's turban was dipped in the water. Thus water was offered to those in need of healing.
Directly under the fluted dome you see Mevlâna's sarcophagus (the largest), flanked by that of his son Sultan Veled and other eminent dervishes. They are all covered in velvet shrouds heavy with gold embroidery, but those of Mevlâna and Veled bear huge turbans, symbols of spiritual authority. 
On religious holidays the Mevlanashrine (museum) may keep longer openinghours.

Tomb of Shams of Tabriz - After having visited the tomb of Mevlana it is tradition to proceed to the tomb of Rumi's spiritual mentor Shams of Tabriz in the Şemsi Tebrizi Camii. 

The mosque containing the elegant 14th-century tomb of Shams is just northwest of Hükümet Meydanı, not far from the Alaaddin Bulvarı.

Alaaddin Camii - The Mevlâna shrine aside, the mosque of Alaeddin Keykubad I, Seljuk Sultan of Rum from 1219 to 1231 is Konya's most important mosque. 

It was designed by a Damascene architect in Arab style and finished in 1221. This great rambling building bestrides Alaaddin Tepesi at the opposite end of Mevlâna Caddesi. 
The grand entrance on the northern side incorporates decoration from earlier Byzantine and Roman buildings. It used to lead through the courtyard and between two huge Seljuk türbes (tombs) into the mosque; today a less imposing eastern doorway serves as the main entrance. While the mosque's exterior is generally plain, the interior is a forest of old marble columns surmounted with recycled Roman and Byzantine capitals. 

İplikçi Camii - The İplikçi Camii on the Mevlâna Caddesi was built for the Seljuk vizier Şemseddin Altun-Aba in 1202. 

The İplikçi Camii in its unadorned style: is a forest of columns, arches and vaults.

The Akça Konak - The Akça Konak on the Mengüç Caddesi 18, near the Hotel Balıkçılar in SE Konya, Phone 350 8108, is the place to obtaint the stamped prove that you've finished the Sufipath and obtain your derwishhat in this cultural centre in a recent restored traditional Konakhouse. 

But in the best Mevlevi-tradition: the place welcomes everybody and is popular with Turkish students. There's a lot of live music and there are tables inside and outside and post-prandial nargilehs (water pipes). The Akça Konak provide a standard menu that does feature a few regional specialities.

To have your dervishhat made? The art of felt-making is fast dying out in Turkey, but at the Ikonium at the Bostan Çelebi Sokak 10, E of City Centre, you can see the old craft. Phone 350 2895 

Ottoman Bazar (Osmanlı Çarşısı) - on the İnce Minare Sokak in the city centre is an early-20th-century house serving çay, coffee and nargilehs. There's a rustic toast wagon outside. Phone 353 3257

Konya Fuarı - In the evening it's fun to duck into the grounds of the Konya Fuarı, where you can sip tea while watching the locals navigate pedaloes round an artificial lake.



That's going to make things a lot eiaesr from here on out.



I bow down hbumly in the presence of such greatness.

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